PLAYA DEL CARMEN, MEXICO | For a player who has won 10 PGA Tour titles since the start of 2015, Jason Day is not accustomed to being this unsettled with his golf game.
The former world No. 1 hasn’t posted a top-10 finish since the Travelers Championship in June. International team captain Ernie Els still picked Day for his Presidents Cup team, despite Day having tumbled to No. 29 in the world entering the Mayakoba Golf Classic.
One possible reason for Day’s struggles? He is now on his fourth caddie of 2019.
“Long story short, there’s been a massive change within the camp of Team Day in regards to caddying,” said Day (above). “I’ve gone through three caddies this year and it’s mainly in the second half of the season. When you go through changes like that – I’m on my fourth one. When you go through that, trying to find the right makeup, the right chemistry, it takes some time.”
Day’s current caddie, David Lutterus, is a former PGA Tour player who started looping for the 31-year-old Australian at the BMW Championship. Lutterus took over after Tiger Woods’ former caddie Steve Williams worked six events for Day this year. Two friends, Luke Reardon and Rika Batibasaga, also have spent time on Day’s bag, but neither was going to be a long-term solution.
This is a relatively new issue for Day given the relationship he maintained with Colin Swatton, his longtime mentor who also served as his caddie. Swatton’s tenure on the bag ended in September 2017.
At the same time, Day has been fighting health issues once again. He says he did not have a physical trainer throughout much of 2019, which compounded injury woes.
“My back was acting up pretty much the whole year,” Day said. “So I wasn’t able to go out and practice as hard as I could, which on top of it went into my game and then the results have pretty much spoken for themselves.”
Day could salvage his year by performing well in his home country during the Presidents Cup. Day added the Mayakoba Golf Classic to his schedule in hopes of gaining momentum for next month’s match at Royal Melbourne but missed the cut by six strokes after a second-round 77.
Day knows the International side will be underdogs at Royal Melbourne, but he remains bullish on his team’s chances.
“The big thing for us is we’ve always struggled in the alternate shot,” Day said. “I feel like if we can be somewhat competitive in that format, hopefully it’s a lot closer because we seem to play really well in four-ball and we seem to play really well in singles match play.”